Ariel, the Vegan Princess?

I’m pretty sure Ariel is a vegan because land mammals and bees don’t do well under the ocean…and her dad objected to the “fish eating barbarians”….although she does wear shells as apparel…which might be the human equivalent of leather shoes.  At any rate, here she is, against my better judgement in the form of two egg and dairy-free princess birthday cakes for my girls.  The girls turned 6 and 4 this past week and had their neighborhood party together this weekend.  The 4 year old wanted chocolate cake (“but still pretty, ok mom?”) and the 6 year old wanted pink, as usual.  Our local grocery has a Barbie cake on perpetual display in the bakery case and the girls wishful looks every time we passed by shopping just got the best of me.

 The cakes are three layers, two 8 inch rounds and one 6 inch round with layers of buttercream in between. Takes a while to bake all the layers, so be prepared.  I covered Ariel’s shells and bare midriff up with a Laffy Taffy and Nerds bodice so she’d be a bit more modest!  I had to enlist my engineer husband to help when the cake wasn’t as tall as the doll, so he built two boxes with holes to set the cakes on so her fins could dangle below!

A pinata filled with only safe treats, grab what you want kiddo, no worries!!

Chocolate Cake

2 cups flour
2/3 cups cocoa powder ( I use Nestle)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups dairy-free milk (Silk Coconut, Soy, Rice)
1 T. cider vinegar
1 1/2 cups sugar
2/3 cups oil
1 T. vanilla (optional, if you’re already using vanilla flavored “milk”)

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out parchment paper rounds to line the bottoms and spray the pans well with oil.
2.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cocoa powder, soda, baking powder and salt. My cocoa and baking soda are always lumpy, so I sift mine into the bowl through a mesh strainer to get out the lumps.
3.) Whisk soy and vinegar together in a medium bowl and let thicken. Then add the sugar, oil and vanilla. Mix well.
4.) Carefully dump and mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Just blend until most of the lumps are out. Don’t beat the heck out of it.
5.) Pour batter into your prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and you can poke a knife into the center and it comes out clean. Let the cake rest for a few minutes before lifting out and cooling on a rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Chocolate Frosting
You’ll have extra, so don’t hesitate to take a few spoonfuls while baking.

1 stick dairy-free margarine, softened ( I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine)
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon of salt, or a couple pinches.
1 cup cocoa powder (I use Nestle)
5 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup dairy-free milk ( more if needed)

1.) Cream the margarine and shortening until fluffy.
2.) Add the salt and cocoa powder.
3.) Add the powdered sugar slowly. You can add a little of the soymilk as you are trying to mix in all the powdered sugar if things get too thick.
4.) Once all the powdered sugar is mixed in, you can start adding soymilk until you get the frosting thickness you want. Sometimes I like it dense, sometimes I like it fluffy and mousse-like.

Lightly Lemon Cake

This is a great cake to try some coconut oil. The coconut flavor is very subtle and tastes rather buttery. I bought a big jar on Amazon for half the price of our local health food store, and only $1 shipping. Canola works fine, but you’ll need to crank up the lemon or vanilla flavors, otherwise the cake tastes like bland cornbread. Lemon oil is amazing stuff, I found mine at Williams-Sonoma but King Arthur has it by mail order. It lasts forever in the fridge.

2 1/2 cups flour
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups dairy-free milk (Silk PureCoconut or Soy)
1 T. cider vinegar
2/3 cup oil (I used melted coconut oil)
1 1/2 cups sugar
1 T. vanilla
1/4 teaspoon lemon oil (or 1 teaspoon fine lemon zest, don’t use lemon extract or the cake will taste like floor polish)

1.) Preheat oven to 350. Prepare your cake pans by cutting out parchment paper rounds to line the bottoms and spray the pans well with oil.
2.) In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, cornstarch, soda, baking powder and salt. My cornstarch and baking soda are always lumpy, so I sift mine into the bowl through a mesh strainer to get out the lumps.
3.) Whisk dairy-free milk and vinegar together in a medium bowl and let thicken. Then add the sugar, oil and flavorings. Mix well.
4.) Carefully dump and mix the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Just blend until most of the lumps are out. Don’t beat the heck out of it.
5.) Pour batter into your prepared pans and bake for 20-25 minutes or until the center is set and you can poke a knife into the center and it comes out clean. Let the cake rest for a few minutes before lifting out and cooling on a rack. Cool completely before frosting.

Vanilla Frosting
1 stick margarine, softened ( I use Fleischmann’s Unsalted Margarine)
1/2 cup shortening
1/8 teaspoon of salt, or a couple pinches.
4 cups powdered sugar
1/4 cup dairy-free milk (more if needed)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1.) Cream the margarine and shortening until fluffy.
2.) Add the salt and cocoa powder.
3.) Add the powdered sugar slowly. You can add a little of the soymilk as you are trying to mix in all the powdered sugar if things get too thick.
4.) Once all the powdered sugar is mixed in, you can start adding soymilk until you get the frosting thickness you want. Sometimes I like it dense, sometimes I like it fluffy and mousse-like.

5 Responses to Ariel, the Vegan Princess?

  1. Libby says:

    I am suddenly grateful I have a boy… good for you in making what they want, but still using the laffy taffy and nerds to, um, keep it from busting out of control. You always use candy in such creative ways, but I think this one tops it!

  2. Maggie says:

    I'm suddenly aching to have a little girl. I agree that the candy bodices are lovely. Both girls look thrilled!

  3. Mary says:

    I had a Barbie cake when I was little, but she just got a frosting cover up. These cakes really look spectacular!

  4. Lucy..♥ says:

    wonderful cakes, Mom ;-), they're so cute, wish I had a little one, mine is a big girl now, but I would have made one making that special birthday a great memory

  5. Hayley says:

    Aw how beautiful! You're so clever, I'd love to make something like this for my daugther but I'm rubbish at cake decorating!

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